What is a reflexive pronoun?
A reflexive pronoun is a type of pronoun that is preceded by the adverb, adjective, pronoun, or noun to which it refers, so long as that antecedent is located within the same clause.
In English grammar, a reflexive pronoun indicates that the person who is realizing the action of the verb is also the recipient of the action. While this might seem strange at first glance, the following examples of reflexive pronouns and the accompanying list of reflexive pronouns will help you gain thorough understanding. In fact, you will probably notice that you yourself use reflexive pronouns frequently when speaking or writing.
Examples of Reflexive Pronouns
In the following examples of reflexive pronouns, the reflexive pronoun in each sentence is italicized.
I was in a hurry, so I washed the car myself.
You’re going to have to drive yourself to school today.
He wanted to impress her, so he baked a cake himself.
Jennifer does chores herself because she doesn’t trust others to do them right.
That car is in a class all by itself.
We don’t have to go out; we can fix dinner ourselves.
You are too young to go out by yourselves.
The actors saved the local theatre money by making costumes themselves.
Reflexive Pronoun Exercises
The following exercises will help you gain greater understanding about how reflexive pronouns work. Choose the best answer to complete each sentence.
- Each morning, I brush my teeth and stare at ______________ in the mirror.
Answer: C. Each morning, I brush my teeth and stare at myself in the mirror.
- Dad and I painted the trailer _______________.
Answer: D. Dad and I painted the trailer ourselves.
- The children made holiday decorations by ________________.
- Their selves
Answer: C. The children mad holiday decorations by themselves.
- Paul copies his friend’s homework instead of doing it _______________.
Answer: B. Paul copies his friend’s homework instead of doing it himself.
- Please make ________________ at home while you wait.
Answer: C. Please make yourselves at home while you wait.
Reflexive Pronouns List
As you read through the following list of reflexive pronouns, consider ways to use them in sentences like the ones in the preceding section.